The PreD Blog

Why Men Could Develop Diabetes at a Lower Average BMI

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Body Fat Plays a Role in the Development of Prediabetes and Diabetes

overweight man with visceral fat

Men may be more likely to develop diabetes at a lower BMI.

Listen up, guys: Prediabetes and diabetes are serious conditions that can cause a slew of health problems. And if you’re a man, you may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, says one study published in the journal Diabetologia.

Men may develop diabetes at a lower body mass index (BMI) compared to women, according to Scottish researchers. They think it could be because men are less sensitive to the hormone insulin than women. Insulin is what “unlocks” cells and allows glucose to enter cells in order to provide energy to the body.

There’s another reason why men may develop the disease at a lower BMI: Men tend to store fat around their organs, rather than under the skin like women. Visceral fat is the fat that accumulates around the organs, and carrying this type of fat increases risk for the development of diabetes, as fat hormones play a key role in appetite and metabolism.

Researches looked at 95,057 men and women with type 2 diabetes, examined their BMIs while only comparing people of similar age. They reported a pattern that men with lower BMIs, compared to their female counterparts, had developed type 2 diabetes.

About 13 million American men have diabetes, or 11.8% of all men aged 20 or older. And many more have prediabetes, the condition that precedes diabetes, says the American Diabetes Association.

People with prediabetes have above-normal levels of blood glucose and often will develop diabetes in as little as three years.

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